Interview with Competitive Ceroc/Modern Jive Dancers Samson Chan and Georgia Traher

Georgia and Samson
Georgia and Samson

Falling in love on the dance floor is not just the stuff of romantic comedies. It happened in London, England to Samson “Samo” Chan and book blogger Georgia Traher, who felt the sparks fly while dancing Modern Jive and Ceroc for fun.

But for this AMWF couple, dancing is more than a hobby. Samson recently won first place in the Advanced Freestyle category with his partner and now competes at an open level. Georgia, who has danced since she was 13, is an intermediate dancer just starting her competitive career. Wow!

This weekend, they will rock the ballrooms of Hong Kong as participants in the Pan Asian Ceroc Championships, a charity event raising money for Angels for Orphans. Here’s a Youtube video from last year’s event:

In fact, the couple will be part of a group lead by Samson that will provide entertainment:

Be entertained by performances from Samson Chan and his team of 8 young, vibrant Ceroc dancers…

…and instruction on Saturday Oct 24:

4-5pm, Whips & Scrolls with Samson ‘Samo’ Chan:

Want to leave your followers with that “Wwheee!” feeling and impress onlookers? Whip along to this workshop to cover both some whirlwind moves and slick techniques.

The technique side will focus on connection for both lead and follow, then you’ll be learning a style of moves called ‘Whips’ and ‘Scrolls’ that can be used to enhance your smooth jive repertoire.

About Samo

Samo is known for his smooth and fluid style. This diverse dancer has stormed onto the UK ceroc scene, winning people over with his infectious smile and whirlwind whips. His smooth jive butters up all he dances with, and his collection of trophies would tell you the judges love him too!

FYI, for those of you new to Ceroc, here’s a quick introduction from the Ceroc website:

Ceroc is an abbreviation of the French phrase c’est Rock.

We have been introducing complete beginners to the world of partner dancing for over 30 years and today we are the biggest dance club in the world with hundreds of classes across the globe.

We teach dance in its general form, and we use dances like Salsa, Ballroom, Latin American, Street dance, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Tango and Jive to develop our creative and expressive inner-self.

I sat down with Georgia and Samson to learn more about how they met, their strengths as dancers, and what they’ll be up to during the Pan Asian Ceroc Championships.

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You both met on the dance floor. Could you tell us a little bit about that first time you were together?

We had had a few dances before we officially ‘met’ but he soon became my favourite dancer.

Most nights after the class, the group will move on to a nearby bar to keep dancing. As we were walking over, he asked me out for a drink on our own and we’ve carried on dancing since then.

You do Ceroc and Modern Jive dancing. Why are you attracted to these styles of dance?

The Ceroc franchise is set up to be friendly and for socialising as well as learning to dance. All dancing is great for meeting people, my dad and step mum met while dancing (tango) as well! Modern jive isn’t what people imagine, it is alot smoother than traditional jive or swing dancing and people often surprise themselves with how easy it is to learn few moves.

Could you tell us a little about your competitive strengths as dancers?

Competitions are so much fun! Samson inspired me to start to compete after I watched him (win) in London. Competition dancing is a little different to our usual freestyle (casual/social) Dancing. You get used to finding your judge and showing off your personality. Samson’s speciality is musicallity and hitting every beat with a ‘wow’ move with his partner. I love the feeling of competition dancing, you have to tighten up your styling and there is nothing like hearing the crowd cheer!

This weekend, you are both in Hong Kong for the Pan Asian Ceroc Championships, which is being organized as a charity event for Angels for Orphans. Could you tell us a little about what you and Samson will be dancing in this competition and how your efforts are supporting this charity?

This weekend the Pan Asia Ceroc Championships are going on. We are a group of eight and we are performing a group caberet dance, which features ceroc in its most advanced forms to show off what is possible with these simple dance moves. Some of the more advanced in the group will be judging the competition beginner categories, and the group is also providing two workshops to pass on some signature moves. We’re entertainment, judges and instructors for the weekend.

What advice would you have for someone interested in competitive dance?

Here I’ll hand over to Samson as he’s the expert: The most important things for competitive ceroc dancing are the couple’s personality, that they are compatible with eachother and dance with the same style. A few flash moves are useful but most of all it’s important to listen to the music. And as I tell Georgia: No making faces! A resting happy face is fine, but if you mess up pretend you didn’t, you might think the judges can’t see a wrinkled nose, but they’re always watching! You have to love every move and every song, even if you’re dancing to YMCA by the village people!

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A big thanks to Georgia and Samson for this interview! If you’re in Hong Kong and wondering what to do this weekend, consider heading to the Pan Asian Ceroc Championships, where you can catch them and many other brilliant dancers in action while supporting the charity Angels for Orphans. Book lovers will enjoy Georgia’s book blog Stories in Books.

Fenshou: After Eliza, he feared “she’ll disappear again”

(photo by Doug Wheller via Flickr.com)
(photo by Doug Wheller via Flickr.com)

Spencer Huang writes, “I dated other girls later on — Spanish, Polish, Welsh. But I could hardly overcome the recurring fear in my heart: ‘She’ll disappear again.’ At last, I returned to China with a lonely and tired heart. Eliza changed me completely.”

This is a story of how one Chinese man met an enchanting Polish woman in London, only to have her vanish from his life without an explanation.

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I’m a Chinese man who just finished a master’s degree in the UK, where I once had a relationship with a Polish woman. I’ve wanted to share this story ever since the Christmas of 2012, when I met her.

I was there in London, spending my Christmas holidays with my friend John, who visited me from China. We lived in a hostel to meet more people and to share their interesting life stories. That was where I met Eliza.

My friend and I tried to talk to anyone we met in the hostel during our journey. We were chatting with a Japanese girl earlier that day, but she had grown up in the US and knew very little about Japan. It wasn’t a very interesting conversation to me.

When I was dismayed that I couldn’t find anyone interesting to talk with, suddenly Eliza walked into that room. She reminded me of a lovely elf — petite with long blonde hair, green eyes and a small face.

Before I knew it, we fell into a fantastic conversation. We talked a lot about anime, manga, Japanese culture (especially Japanese pop culture), food and musicals (such as The Phantom of Opera and other Andrew Lloyd Weber works). I really admired her independence. She worked in London as a waitress to pay her way through university. She had also left home two years before; her father passed away many years ago and her mom remarried. We bonded over our lonely childhood experiences as well.

I never imagined that I could meet a girl who had so much in common with me. We were so happy as we talked together through the whole night.

Then I asked her, “Why don`t we go out for a drink?”

“Why not?” she answered.

We left the hostel at 9:30pm to hit the empty London streets that evening, which was still Boxing Day, to have drinks together.

The next day, what a perfect day it was. We visited Piccadilly Circus and many other sites in London, sharing food and laughter. That evening, I prepared a dinner for two of Japanese sushi while she sang “Think of Me” from the Phantom of the Opera.

Suddenly, a feeling of dread hit me: I had nearly forgotten my promise to a friend from Hong Kong. He needed a place to stay during New Year’s time because he had no money and nowhere else to go. Of course, I couldn’t leave my friend to sleep on the streets and had offered him my flat in Glasgow.

I had to leave Eliza suddenly that very evening, December 27. We hugged before I left, never realizing it would be our last hug.

Later, when I returned to London to find her, everything changed. We were meant to meet at this staircase in the hostel, but she never showed up. She just vanished and left me standing there. I spent over 16 hours there, thinking about her. At last, a group of Australians came over to me and gave me a bottle of whiskey. Then I could remember nothing but the fact that she never returned to that hostel again.

I dated other girls later on — Spanish, Polish, Welsh. But I could hardly overcome the recurring fear in my heart: “She’ll disappear again.” At last, I returned to China with a lonely and tired heart.

Eliza changed me completely. A part of me still hoped that someone special might appear in my life, but I was afraid of a stable relationship, something I yearned for deep inside.

It was tough since I returned to China, but I’ve decided to move on. In the end, the memories are beautiful enough for me.

Spencer Huang works as a project manager for a media company in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

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We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.